With a hearty homecoming crowd on hand and hovering around Suitland High School’s postgame huddle, the Rams packed in tightly to break it down. Standing toward the outside of the group — which was yelling and hollering in cadence and lifting their helmets in the air following a convincing 21-6 victory against DuVal — Anthony Jackson barely hoisted his silver headgear. He was spent.
And really, who could blame him? The senior linebacker was seemingly involved in every defensive play for the Rams, who improved to 4-0 on Saturday and silenced a team eager to prove it belongs in the upper-echelon of Prince George’s County football.
“At Suitland, we don’t take disrespect real well,” Jackson said, alluding to some of the midweek comments made by DuVal to the media. “We just came out here and talked with our pads.”
Eager for payback after Suitland knocked them out of the playoffs last season, the Tigers (3-1) were flat from the start as versatile sophomore quarterback Antoine Brooks couldn’t find running room and never settled into a groove in the pocket. Jackson had a lot to do with that.
“He committed to the University of Delaware for a reason. He’s a true D-I player,” Suitland coach Ed Shields said.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound player served as the catalyist for a defense that held DuVal to 78 total yards of offense. And 67 of those yards came on the Tigers’ final two drives of the game with Suitland leading, 21-0.
Suitland’s defense set the tone early, blocking Shawn Coleman’s punt and taking over on downs at DuVal’s 4-yard-line. From there, Josh Burke (19 carries, 73 yards) plunged in for a 4-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, Suitland quarterback Wesley Wolfolk capped an 11-play, 81-yard drive with a 4-yard score. Wolfolk dove at the goal line and appeared to lose the ball at or near the plane as he got hit, but the officials ruled it a touchdown.
“We felt like last year we worked really hard to beat those guys in the playoffs,” Wolfolk said. “For them to say that they really wanted to beat us motivated us to come out and play hard.”
Wolfolk finished the game with eight completions on 13 attempts for 85 yards and one touchdown (a nifty slip screen to Robert Wigfall). Brooks, meanwhile, threw for 61 yards but managed only 13 on the ground on 15 attempts.
“We were prepared,” Jackson said. “I watched film with my defensive coaches all week and we went over every formation they like to run. We lined up and took care of business.”
DuVal’s lone touchdown came when Brooks scored on a 1-yard run late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers are scheduled to take on Bladensburg next week while Suitland plays host to Laurel.
“We just lost,” DuVal coach Dameon Powell said. “They had a great scheme. It’s not good to lose, but it’s good for us to now see what we really have to work on for the future.”
Suitland 21, DuVal 6
DuVal (3-1) 0 0 0 6 — 6
Suitland (4-0) 6 8 7 0 — 21
S — Josh Burke 4 run (Tevin Singleton kick failed), 9:56
S — Wesley Wolfolk 4 run (Robert Wigfall pass from Wesley Wolfolk), 5:44
S — Robert Wigfall 20 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (Tevin Singleton kick), 0:30
D — Antoine Brooks 1 run (Andy Akotia kick failed), 6:53
DuVal — Terrance Davenport 7-14, Antoine Brooks 15-13, Jamal Woodland 2-2, Jarrett Scott 1-(-2), Elems Ukwu 1-(-10)
Suitland — Josh Burke 19-73, Robert Wigfall 10-21, Wesley Wolfolk 4-(-3), Milan Neil 1-(-18)
DuVal — Antoine Brooks 6-11-61-0
Suitland — Wesley Wolfolk 8-13-85-0
DuVal — Elems Ukwu 1-20, Jamal Woodland 1-18, Eric Wilson 1-12, Miguel Dew 1-7, Terrance Davenport 2-4
Suitland — Nick Nelson 3-42, Robert Wigfall 4-31, Steven Rivers 1-12